Sébastien Loeb has done it again. By winning his home event he secured his ninth straight WRC title.
As a bonus, Loebs win and Mikko Hirvonens third position means that Citroën secured the championship title for manufacturers.
The eleventh WRC event of the year was all about Loeb and his way to the title. Naturally, he wanted to secure the title on his home event and he took the lead in the race from day one.
When the rally was finished on the Sunday, Loeb and codriver Daniel Elena were still on top of the leaderboard. And that was it – the 75th win of a WRC event for the duo gave them their ninth, and final, WRC title.
In 2013 Loeb and Elena will only take part in a few selected events, which means they will not get a shot at another title.
– There are two more events left in the championship where I could have secured the title, but it was here on my home event I wanted to do it and I’m very pleased that I succeeded here, in front of all the fans, says a happy Loeb.
Fords Jari-Matti Latvala joined the Citroën duon Loeb/Hirvonen on the podioum.
Fourth was Belgian Thierry Neulville, Citroën, and fifth was Norwegian Mads Østberg in a Ford Fiesta S WRC.
In SWRC Irishman Craig Breen won, and took over the lead in the championship from Swedes P-G Andersson.
P-G was forced to retire with electrical problems on the second day, started over with a time penalty and ended up in third position.
Looking to the last event in Spain, November 9-11, Breen has 93 points and Andersson 91.
– It will be a tough battle and I really look forward to it, says P-G.
In the WRC Academy Elfyn Evans took his fourth consecutive win for the year and secured the championship title. Swedes Fredrik Åhlin and Pontus Tidemand had to setle for a fifth and sixth position.
Photo : Citroën